Donnelly Talks Farm Policy

Indiana Representative Joe Donnelly, running for the open Indiana Senate seat, is spending the last few weeks of the 2012 campaign crisscrossing the state and talking to farmers and rural voters.

In what is turning out to be an unexpectedly close race, polling shows Representative Joe Donnelly and State Treasurer Richard Mourdock in a dead heat. The surprise defeat of longtime Senator Dick Lugar in the Republican primary this May has turned a safe seat for the GOP into a tossup.

Donnelly is hoping that farm policy can provide him with enough of an edge to flip this long held Republican seat. With the campaign winding down, Donnelly is touring the state and touting his farm policies. Donnelly has pushed for continued ethanol mandates, increased crop insurance programs, and some modest reductions in EPA regulations.

In particular, Donnelly is using the failure of the farm bill against his opponent. Donnelly, who signed the House discharge petition that would have forced the farm bill to a vote, recently said of his opponent, “Mr. Mourdock has broken faith with Indiana’s agricultural community because of his position against the ethanol mandate. One thing ethanol does besides help Indiana’s agricultural community is encourage national security and greater wealth for our country.”

Mourdock has also been campaigning in rural Indiana. In a recent campaign stop, he pushed for significant reductions in agricultural regulations. “They’re all businesses, and especially for small businesses, which is what Indiana farms are, we’ve got to roll back this regulatory environment and get a tax code in place that is going to lead to economic growth rather than strangulation.”

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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer